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PROPOSED ELECTRICAL LEGISLATION
John Peckham 68348
376 Posts
Question
The government have produced draft regulations on the periodic inspection and testing of domestic installations.

It can be found here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934

I have serious concerns with the proposed definition of "qualified" as it does not require anyone to have any qualifications whatsoever , so it does not do what it says on the tin. It perpetuates the current practice of any knuckle scraping half whit who does not know their amp from the elbow carrying out inspection and testing. Without setting out defined required qualifications it becomes unenforceable.

Unless an MP makes an objection as Secondary it will become law without debate. I have written to my recently Knighted MP this morning to explain my views on the proposed legislation and in particular the definition of "Qualified" that contains no requirement to have any qualifications. 

Unless the government gets any objections these Regulations will become law. Only an MP can get proposed secondary legislation changed.

You may wish to join me in writing to your MP? 
104 Replies
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee Tuesday 17th March 2020

https://hansard.parliament.uk/pdf/commons/2020-03-17/19d18af0-b369-473e-9f4a-eade8d08f155

Andy Betteridge
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
Meanwhile over in the letting agents office someone is Reading this.

 Andy Betteridge 
Chris Pearson 11001208764
1378 Posts
Here is the response which I received via my MP. HMG appears to have missed the point, but I cannot fault Ms Dinenage's approach.

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John Peckham 68348
376 Posts
The problem as I see it with the Scottish scheme is they have not grasped the fact that the various schemes in the list do not register individuals only "Enterprises " that have one assessed person. 

As as we know that allows Enterprises to send out anyone who can mist up a mirror to do EICRs.

The Scottish document does not specify any specific qualifications. In addition it is electrician focused and does not appear to recognise engineers who may do this work.

The IET only operates an individual recognition scheme for electrians.

 
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
So the Scottish approach is you have to be a contractor registered with the NICEIC, SELECT, NAPIT or an individual member of the IET.

Is there an electrical professional body other than the IET? I cannot think of one that is relevant within the UK.

How many people who are not trading as a contractor registered with the NICEIC, SELECT, NAPIT are members of the IET and have trade qualifications?

Andy Betteridge 
ebee 81966746
672 Posts
Yes tAndy I like the points you made. It also looks like you can tick boxes to say you`re considered competant in your own eyes thereby bypassing any checks, That`s if I read it right
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
That appears to rule out the majority of English electricians.

I am not a member of a Professional body and most people who are don’t have any trade qualifications. 
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT STATUTORY GUIDANCE ON ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS AND APPLIANCES IN PRIVATE RENTED PROPERTY

Alternatively, a landlord should seek evidence of competence and have regard to the details provided. A competent person (other than a member of NICEIC, SELECT or NAPIT) should be able to confirm all of the points listed in the checklist form provided on the following page.

Evidence of competence to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report for the purposes of assessing the safety of electrical installations, fittings and fixtures in private rented property.

Checklist for Electrician
 
Check*

I am a member of a professional body
 
I have public liability insurance (£2 million minimum is recommended)
 
I have employers’ liability insurance (£2 million minimum is recommended), unless the business has no employees

I have professional indemnity insurance (£0.25 million is recommended for contractors undertaking electrical installation condition reporting)
 
I have completed appropriate assessed training on current version of BS7671 within the past 5 years
 
I can provide:
 copies of wholesaler bills made out to entity trading, or
 a company registration number, or
 a Unique Tax Reference (UTR)

I can provide copies of trade qualification or equivalent

I can provide a copy of a written health and safety policy statement for the business
 
I have completed Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) Health & Safety Assessment within the past 3 years

I have been granted, or am eligible to be granted at least Approved Electrician grade.

* The electrician should tick each item in this list to confirm that it applies. I certify that I can provide the above listed evidence of competence.

Name Firm/Trading Name Signed
Date
    

https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/advice-and-guidance/2016/12/electrical-installations-and-appliances-private-rented-properties/documents/guidance-electrical-installations-appliances-pdf/guidance-electrical-installations-appliances-pdf/govscot%3Adocument/Guidance%2Bon%2BElectrical%2Binstallations%2Band%2Bappliances.pdf
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
So the Government are allowing themselves a month from the introduction of the legislation to when it will have to be up and running; and within those four weeks they will decide who can undertake the work.

The old saying “Putting the cart before the horse” comes to mind.

Andy Betteridge 
ebee 81966746
672 Posts

ebee:
I have emailed my MP

My MP replied, well done my MP.
Here it is (redacted to protect the guilty - as they used to say on imported TV progs of yore)
Attached files
Alcomax 11001195572
171 Posts
a9242029c28a59248d609c452583933a-huge-co
 
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts

Sparkingchip:

There were three condition rating codes:
Code one- No repair is presently required. Normal maintenance must be undertaken.
Code two- Repairs are required, but the home inspector does not consider these to be either serious or urgent.
Code three- Defects of a serious nature exist or require urgent repair.

The book and training course gave very detailed explanations and guidance on how structure and fabric of the building should be coded on the Home Condition Reports, if at all, which obviously they should do as they are training for inspectors.

Andy Betteridge

 

Actually everything was code as if there was nothing wrong with it was a Code 1:

Code one- No repair is presently required. Normal maintenance must be undertaken. 

EICRs don't mention the requirement for ongoing maintenance, even when it is obvious that some fittings and accessories are fifty years old.

Andy Betteridge
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
Back around 2005 when the Government were introducing Home Condition Reports that were to be required for the sale of domestic properties I considered doing the training course and qualifying, I bought the RICS Home Inspectors handbook and still keep on a shelf  it under my desk, actually I have it in front of me now.

The report writing was to be very specific to the extent that you had to use standard reporting software that used set phrases and descriptions, the intention was that if a client commissioned a report they would get an identical report utter regardless of who wrote it, you should not have been able to tell who wrote the report by looking at it and reading it, there was to be no individual flourishes or personalisation that would set one inspectors report apart from the standard.

There were three condition rating codes:
Code one- No repair is presently required. Normal maintenance must be undertaken.
Code two- Repairs are required, but the home inspector does not consider these to be either serious or urgent.
Code three- Defects of a serious nature exist or require urgent repair.

The book and training course gave very detailed explanations and guidance on how structure and fabric of the building should be coded on the Home Condition Reports, if at all, which obviously they should do as they are training for inspectors.

The 18th edition course and training does not even cover the coding of issues for an Electrical Installation Condition Report and they certainly doesn't go through the outcome decision making process. I have now taken three Wiring Regulations courses, the full 16th, the 17th update and the full 18th, not once has any guidance or training on coding for EICRs has been given. The simple truth is most electricians are making codes up on the hoof, it is not a defined process.

NAPIT have actually nailed it with NAPIT Codebreakers, particularly if you use NAPIT Desktop for producing the reports because it's preloaded into the reporting software, when you code an item on the schedule of inspections it brings up a choice of entries for the observation which can then be tailored for the particular circumstances. I have bought the lady in charge of maintenance at one of the letting agents her own copy of NAPIT Codebreakers to keep in her office desk so that if there are any queries as to how I have coded issues on an EICR she can quickly check using the reference number what the NAPIT recommendation is to see if I am following a defined process or making it up on the hoof.

When I did the 17th update course the lecturer said to me that any one who could look things up quickly in the Argos catalogue could pass the exam, actually going beyond just picking the correct reference in the regulations book to pass an exam and applying it to coding an EICR is a process that many people seem to get to grips with.

Andy Betteridge

 
Chris Pearson 11001208764
1378 Posts

mapj1:
a delay so they can have another round of meetings. 
someone or something is having an effect it seems.

Parliament has been rather busy lately! As far as I can see, the draft has not yet passed the Committee stage.

God knows what effect the corona virus will have, but every indication is that the number of cases is rising exponentially, i.e. that an epidemic is occurring. Give it a few more cycles of doubling and everything may grind to a halt. 😮
I am surprised to see that any "competent Inspector" requires a guidance note as to the code for deviations from BS7671. If you are competent you know what is dangerous, could become dangerous, or simply would be best improved! If you don't know that you are NBG immediately! You also need to know all the regulations properly, and can find the relevant bits in the book if needed, and can read properly. The 18th exam makes some attempt at this but probably anything less than 90% should get a code 1 on the Inspector, and that is most people who passed! The number of passes at 90% or more is quite small, and 60% is useless for inspection, it says you will miss 40% of defects. So great improvement is needed by many people, and the Electrical Safety First book or whatever is not the way to get improvement, it is to make it possible for inadequate inspectors to carry out domestic inspections of fairly dubious quality.

When one sees many of the items on EICRs and the codes given, it seems that the last thing of interest is the danger, it is the possible money to be made! Take a comment above, "all the plastic CUs need to be changed". Really, and why? If all the terminals are checked and the tails secured, why is it even potentially dangerous? If we are not careful the legislators will make the words in the book more important than the intent for safe installations, probably because they simply don't understand what is safe or what safe means. It is a hugely overused term, everything on earth now seems to say something about this is safer than before. How do you know, the only way to tell is experience, and that is what is missing from these regulations. I assume that the Government discussions with Industry did not include the IET, and was probably only NICEIC. Their vested interest in their members is obvious to keep the status quo, yet the most effective change would be to make the Inspection and reparation stages entirely separate, in that they CANNOT be the same contractor, and an Inspecting contractor is separately assessed every year. This is the normal way with inspection in most safety critical industries, and it does work very reliably, from experience.
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
The IET have published some guidance

I believe the author is a IET Engineer I was stood talking to with John Peckham on the IET stand at the Coventry Elex show last September.

I think the references to information on EICR Codes leaves a bit to be desired, which is not particularly the authors fault because there’s not much available other than the NAPIT Codebreakers.

There is one reference that raises an eyebrow, the PAT COP doesn’t seem to be directly relevant:

Guidance on classification codes can be found in the IET On-Site Guide and Best Practice Guide (BPG) 4 on the Electrical Safety First (ESF) website. Some trade associations also provide guidance on the coding of observations made during EICR inspections.

Model EICR forms for reporting on the condition of an existing electrical installation can be found in Appendix 6 of BS 7671:2018+AMD1:2020. These can be downloaded from the IET website. Further guidance on inspection and testing can be found in Guidance on maintaining electrical equipment can be found in the IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.

Andy Betteridge 




 
mapj1 80733779
1925 Posts
not yet, but maybe it will soon if we keep pointing it out.
After all  there is already
  a first errata.     
That cryptic ISBN13 number  ISBN-13: 978-1- 78561-170-4 is the same as the one in the regs by the way,
so now it is really referring to our friend  BS7671, just by the ISBN number...doh..
oh there is also
  a delay so they can have another round of meetings. 
someone or something is having an effect it seems.
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
Does the legislation actually say that?

Andy Betteridge 
davidwalker2 11856795
126 Posts

I sent a similar letter to my MP, Kwasi Kwateng, Minister of State for Business and Energy, and have just received his reply.  He says that the regulations were prepared following "extensive consultation"  and goes on to say:

"With regard to Para 3, section 4, my reading of the regulations is that EICRs will now specify if certain remedial work is necessary.  It will be up to the relevant qualified person undergoing the investigation to decide where and sometimes when this work will be necessary.  It will be up to the local housing authority decide (sic) if a private landlord is in breach of the duty this imposes, and not all the recommendations typically contained in an EICR will be classified as necessary remedial actions."

He also adds that he will pass the letter to the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government  for confirmation.

David
Chris Pearson 11001208764
1378 Posts

Chris Pearson:
Here is my letter to my MP - hope it is not too late!

I received a reply today.

"Dear Chris
 
Many thanks for your email and for sending through the attached document – please don’t worry about it being ‘lengthy and technical’!
 
I will write to the Minister to share your concerns direct, and I will write to you again when I receive a response.
 
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this.
 
Kind regards,
 
Caroline"
 
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
It is, whether the landlords at the lower end of the market are on the ball is another matter.

Andy Betteridge 
Chris Pearson 11001208764
1378 Posts

Sparkingchip:
There is no denying that there is a huge number of private rented houses and flats that need some significant upgrading that is long overdue. 

Isn't that exactly the point?
Sparkingchip 72796851
2272 Posts
There is no denying that there is a huge number of private rented houses and flats that need some significant upgrading that is long overdue. 

The next eighteen months is potentially going to be a busy time for builders, maintenance guys, plumbers, window and insulation installers as well as electricians.

I had a look at the Energy Performance Certificate online for that flat and it's not just new storage heaters it needs.

I have done a lot of work for this landlord over the last ten years and when we have tidied flats up I made a point of replacing all the lighting with LED. This flat was tidied up eighteen months ago, but someone else did the electrical work as I was too busy,  the landlord commented this morning that the flat did not even get five stars on the EPC for low energy lighting as the other electrician didn't swap the lighting to LED.

Five stars for low energy lighting is not hard to achieve,  but it didn't happen here.

The EPC gives the estimated electric bills for this one bed flat as three years as over £7500 and says it could potentially be brought down to £3500. The performance rating is about as bad as it gets.

So a major refurbishment with new storage heaters and a satisfactory EICR in the next eighteen months are required to be able rent the flat out legally.  Otherwise it has to stay empty or be sold to an owner occupier. 

Andy Betteridge 
 
whjohnson 11001209847
290 Posts
Always follow the money - especially when new legislation is driven primarily by lobby groups or 'stakeholder's.
Nothing to do with enhanced electrical safety, just the money.

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